No verdict for union boss in racketeering case; weekend off

A federal jury in Philadelphia will break for the long weekend without a verdict in the racketeering trial of a longtime union boss.

Joseph Dougherty is accused of sanctioning violence, threats and extortionist tactics at nonunion construction sites.

The 73-year-old Dougherty led the local ironworkers union as it battled nonunion contractors and a faltering economy in 2008 and beyond.

Nearly a dozen of his members have pleaded guilty, leaving Dougherty alone on trial.

The co-defendants say they set fire to rival sites and caused mayhem while picketing nonunion jobs.

The jury questions this week suggest some sort of tension among panel members. For some counts, they must decide if Dougherty is responsible for crimes that someone else perpetrated.

Dougherty could spend his life in prison if convicted.

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